Executive Summary

AuthorMaillard, Robin; Zalc, Julien
In September/October 2020, the third time this year
since March and June, the European Parliament com-
missioned a survey asking European citizens their
views on the Coronavirus crisis and their attitudes to-
wards the European Union.
After an amelioration in June, public opinion in sev-
eral areas is now closer again to the results measured
in March/April, including the emotional status of
respondents and the perception of solidarity, or lack
thereof, between Member States. However, the over-
all image of the EU has continuously gained ground
since the rst survey completed at the inception of the
health crisis. Four major areas have been at the fous of
this third survey:
(I) The personal and nancial situation of citizens
‘Uncertainty’ remains the most common emotional
status felt by European citizens (mentioned by 50% of
respondents), followed by ‘hope’ (37%). This is a neg-
ative development since the June 2020 survey, with
more people expressing ‘uncertainty’, ‘helplessness’,
‘fear’, ‘anger’ or ‘frustration’. Also, the economic impact
of the pandemic is becoming increasingly felt: more
than a third of respondents (39%) say that the COVID-19
pandemic has already impacted their personal income.
And for the rst time, more respondents now say that
economic damage caused by restrictions outweigh the
health benets which these measures aim to achieve.
(II) The European Union in times of COVID-19
Attitudes towards the EU have become more positive
in comparison with the rst survey in April/March 2020.
The image of the EU is improving steadily from 31%
to 41%. However, a majority of respondents remain
dissatised with the solidarity, or lack thereof, between
EU Member States. In accordance with earlier surveys
this year, two-thirds of respondents (66%) continue to
agree that the EU should have, “more competences to
deal with crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic”.
(III) Spending priorities
The majority of respondents (54%) think that the EU
should have greater nancial means to tackle the
consequences of the pandemic. However, it is of the
utmost importance to EU citizens that funds only go
to Members States with a functioning judicial system:
around three-quarters of respondents (77%) agree that
the EU should only provide funds to Member States
conditional upon their government’s implementation
of the rule of law and democratic principles.
Public health should be a spending priority, followed
by economic recovery and new opportunities for
businesses (42%), climate change and environmental
protection (37%) as well as employment and social
aairs (35%).
(IV) Attitudes towards government responses at a
national level
Around half of the respondents (49%) say they are sat-
ised with the measures their government has taken so
far against the Coronavirus pandemic, while a similar
proportion (48%) are not satised. Attitudes have be-
come more negative since the last wave of the survey,
with a fall in satisfaction with government measures.

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